Lonely Weekend
Author: Samason Hill

Chapter 8
Cube Gets Forced

  VIII

 

John found a terminal at the public library, called up the Buffalo News website and began working backwards in the local section until he found this short blotter story:

 

Wednesday, January 20th

 

Woman Found Slain

 

A 26 year old woman was found slain in her Amherst apartment on Tuesday.  An obvious victim of a violent death, the police are withholding all information pending notification of, and identification by the next of kin.

 

Captain Geraldo Rubik of the Buffalo Homicide Squad made the following statement: “Of course we are interested in speaking with anyone with information regarding this incident.  But we just can’t release anything at this time.”

 

Neighbors told the News that the young woman lived alone and kept to herself.  Her occupation at the time of death is currently unknown.   

  

 

John looked at his watch.  The Mayor’s weekly press conference should be starting right about now.  If he shagged butt, he could make it and maybe beat the ‘legitimate press’ to the punch.

 

Mayor Wrightly could read a crowd.  He knew how to pump it up and get it excited.  He loved watching shopping TV. The patter and cadence those guys used was usually perfect.  You had to be a pretty good pitchman to get on shopping TV and what was a politician but a pitchman?

 

He could read a crowd of supporters. What he hated was a crowd of reporters. His predecessor, in an attempt at transparency had not only put regular council meetings online, but set a weekly press conference for each Wednesday afternoon (Holidays and snow days excluded) and Wrightly couldn’t back out of either of those dog and pony shows without looking like a jerk.

 

What he feared the most was a. nobody would show up or the b. somebody would ask him a question and he would have no idea what they were talking about.

 

He was just getting through another one - he fantasized about ‘taking one last question’ and importantly exiting with cameras flashing and reporters shouting questions - but these things always ended with a yawn.

 

“… and that is my stand on sidewalks, uh, no pun intended.”  The door to the conference room opens and that fuck O’Leary bumbles in.

 

“So, if there are no further questions…”

 

“Mr. Mayor!”

 

“Yes John, glad you could make it.” A titter of laughter from the gallery.

 

O’Leary stands and unnecessarily introduces himself, “John O’Leary, freelance press.  Mr. Mayor, what can you tell us about the two of murders of young women with similar circumstances occurring at regular intervals in the greater Buffalo area?”

 

It finally happened.  The Mayor had no idea what this asshole was talking about and besides, that didn’t make sense two occurrences at regular intervals didn’t make sense!  Relax Richie, - he liked to call himself Richie when no one else was listening - he was a big fan of Dick Van Dyke when he was a kid and always imagined himself in the show - it helped calm him down.

 

Think! Murders? Wait a minute! That cop, what was his name? Sudoku? TamaGucci? No, Rubik!  He said something about two murders and similarities…

 

Wrightly did what a politician should never do and almost always does - he started talking before he knew what he was going to say:

 

“Uh, I’m in communication with the police and we are still investigating the possibilities that these heinous crimes,” (he liked to use the adjective ‘heinous’ before crimes - he thought it made him seem more passionate), “are somehow related.”  As he spoke, he madly searched his memory for what exactly the cop had said. 

 

Now it was coming back, “There is, to date no indication that the same bayonet was used both murders...”

 

Uproar from the gallery: 

 

“Mr. Mayor, are you saying the police is investigating a serial killer!?”

“Mr. Mayor, what other evidence besides the murder weapon links the two murders?”

“Mr. Mayor, who were the victims and who is in danger?”

 

The Mayor held up his hands and called for calm. “As I was saying, I am in communication with Captain Rubik of the Homicide Squad and ordered regular updates…”

 

“But Mr. Mayor..!”

 

He could see that this wasn’t going to cut the cake.  “Furthermore I have appointed Captain Rubik to lead a special task force to ferret out this cowardly criminal and Captain Rubik is putting his team together as we speak.  Let me just say in closing that the City of Buffalo will spare no resources in the pursuit, arrest, prosecution and punishment,” (this last part from his anti-crime stump speech) “of whoever is responsible. Now please no further questions at this time.”

 

As the flashes popped and reporters continued shouting questions, he looked longingly at the door that led to his office and remembered that his Mom always said, “Be careful what you wish for.” At the same time he involuntarily raised his right foot.  -  Something told him that he had just stepped in the biggest pile of dog shit he will ever encounter.

 

And that is how Captain Geraldo Rubik got his task force.

 

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